Oghomwen (Owen) Jones
Carbs take a constant beating, in the weight loss/management arena. They are often reviled as the group of foods to be avoided or severely reduced in order to lose weight.
There is no doubt that greatly reducing carbs will cause weight loss. The Big question is whether or not this weight loss is long lasting. It often is not. Our quest should always be for sustainable weight loss and maintenance.
A low carb diet causes the body to go into ketosis, and therein lies the reason for the quick and significant weight loss associated with this approach to eating. During ketosis, the body burns fat and uses it instead of glucose for energy, resulting in weight loss.
Clearly low carb diets cause weight loss. It is often not sustainable. The main reason being that these eating plans are difficult to maintain, for long periods, as the carbs that are forbidden are very quickly craved. When an attempt is made to ignore these cravings, headaches, anxiety and crankiness often ensue. Eating this way is definitely not enjoyable. That was certainly my experience. And I know many who have had a similar experience. Has this been your experience too?
Many are unable to cope without carbs for sustained periods, and really should not have to. I like the way the nutritionist Lisa Drayer, a CNN contributor, puts it. “The keto diet is just not sustainable over the long term. It doesn’t teach you how to acquire healthy eating habits. It’s good for a quick fix, but most people I know can hardly give up pasta and bread, let alone beans and fruit.”
Not all carbs are equal. Carbs can be healthy, not so healthy and unhealthy. A good example of the latter are those in processed foods.
We must remember that there are many healthy carbs. They are amongst the nutrient dense foods that our good God has graciously blessed us with. Nutrient dense foods are high in nutrients and relatively low in calories. They contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. They are essentially good quality carbs, good quality proteins and good quality fats. These are all real healthy, and nutritious foods that are best consumed when minimally processed.
Healthy carbs typically provide a ton of hunger-curbing fibre and antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in our body. Many of these are as close to how they grow in nature, and in the form that God intended them to be eaten.
Eating moderate amounts of healthy carbs, DO NOT ail us. Indeed they form the foundation of a variety of wholesome meals. It is eating unhealthy foods, which can be proteins, fats or carbs that is the problem. Unhealthy foods are not exclusively carbs.
Let the moderate consumption of a variety of nutrient dense foods be our goal always. Carbs can be nutrient dense and therefore healthy.
I hope that you now appreciate that it is a misconception to assume that carbs should be avoided…
My book ‘Moderation Is Key’ discusses carbohydrates and much more. It is a simple and comprehensive healthy lifestyle manual. Get your kindle, soft/hard back or audio copy on Amazon today.